GP Patient Survey 2015-16
Aggregated data for July to September 2015 & January to March 2016
NHS England together with Ipsos MORI, have today published the latest Official Statistics from the GP Patient Survey. The survey provides information on patients’ overall experience of primary care services and their overall experience of accessing these services.
Results are based on aggregated data collected from the two most recent waves of the survey. This is to create sufficiently large sample sizes to publish statistically robust results at GP practice level. Results are also published at national and Clinical Commissioning Group level.
Data are weighted by age and gender so that results resemble the eligible registered list population of each practice and CCG.
The latest survey consisted of around 2.15 million postal questionnaires sent out to adults registered with GP practices in England across two separate waves, from July to September 2015 and again from January to March 2016. Over 836,000 patients completed and returned a questionnaire, resulting in a national response rate of 38.9%.
Summary of key headlines
A summary of some of the key headlines from the 2015-16 weighted results is provided below. For a more detailed overview of the results please see the data and reports published on the survey’s main website:
Throughout this summary percentage point changes from 2014-15 are discussed. Given the size of the survey, even small changes in percentages are likely to be statistically significant. However, the scope of this summary does not include testing to confirm that all changes presented are statistically significant.
- The majority of individuals (85.2%) rate their overall experience of their GP surgery as good, with more than two in five (43.1%) rating their experience as ‘very good’. Compared to 2014-15, the proportion of individuals who rate their experience as ‘good’ has increased by 0.4 percentage points from 84.8%.
- Almost four in five patients (78.0%) say they would recommend their GP surgery to someone who has just moved into their local area, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 77.5% since 2014-15.
- Nearly three in four patients (73.4%) rate their overall experience of making an appointment as good, with just over a third saying it was ‘very good’ (33.5%). Compared to 2014-15, the proportion of patients who rate their experience as good has increased by 0.1 percentage point from 73.3%.
- Nearly one in five patients (18.6%) say they tried to contact an NHS service in the past 6 months when they wanted to see a GP but their GP surgery was closed, either for themselves or for someone else. Of these, two in three (67.4%) rate their overall experience of out-of-hours NHS services as good, with three in ten (30.2%) saying it was ‘very good’ (this is a new survey question in 2015-16).
Access to in-hours GP services
- Seven in ten patients (70.1%) say it is easy to get through to their GP surgery on the phone, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points from 70.6% since 2014-15.
- The majority of patients (87.1%) say the receptionists at their GP surgery are helpful, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from 86.8% since 2014-15.
- Nearly half of all patients (49.2%) have a GP they prefer to see, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points from 51.8% since 2014-15. Of these patients, nearly three in five (58.4%) say they ‘always or almost always’ see them or see them ‘a lot of the time’, a decrease of 1.2 percentage point from 59.6% since 2014-15.
- Most patients (84.7%) say they were able to get an appointment to see or speak to someone the last time they tried, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points from 85.2% since 2014-15.
- Of patients who were able to get an appointment, more than nine out of ten (92.1%) say their appointment was convenient, an increase of 0.2 percentage points from 91.8% since 2014-15.
Online GP services
- The majority of patients (86.9%) normally book their appointment over the phone, while more than one in four (27.1%) book in person. Patients increasingly say they book appointments to see a GP or nurse online (7.1%), increasing by 1.2 percentage points from 5.9% since 2014-15.
- Awareness of online services has increased. Nearly one in three patients (31.3%) are aware they can book appointments online, an increase of 4.3 percentage points from 27.0% since 2014-15. While a similar proportion (30.9%) are aware they can order repeat prescriptions online, an increase of 3.0 percentage points from 27.9% since 2014-15. Fewer patients (5.2%) are aware they can access medical records online, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from 2.4% since 2014-15. Nearly half of all patients (49.8%) are unsure whether these services are available at their GP surgery, while one in ten (9.4%) believes that none of these options are available.
- Use of online services is also increasing. One in ten patients (10.7%) say they used online services in the last 6 months to order repeat prescriptions, an increase of 0.6 percentage points from 10.1% since 2014-15. While 7.5% say they used online services to book appointments, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from 6.4% since 2014-15. Very few patients (0.9%) say they used online services to access their medical records, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 0.3% since 2014-15.
- Nearly two in three patients (64.6%) say they normally wait 15 minutes or less after their appointment time to be seen, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from 64.8% since 2014-15.
- More than half of all patients (57.7%) say ‘they don’t normally have to wait too long’ to be seen, comparable to in 2014-15.
Confidence and trust
- More than nine out of ten patients (92.0%) have confidence and trust in the last GP they saw, comparable to 2014-15.
- More than four out of five patients (84.3%) have confidence and trust in the last nurse they saw, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from 84.7% since 2014-15.
- The majority of patients (86.3%) who tried to contact an out-of-hours NHS service when their GP surgery was closed say they had confidence and trust in the people they saw or spoke to (this is a new survey question in 2015-16).
- Three in four patients (75.9%) are satisfied with their GP surgery opening hours, an increase of 1.0 percentage point from 74.9% since 2014-15.
- Nearly three in four patients (74.6%) say their GP surgery is open at times that are convenient for them, an increase of 0.8 percentage points from 73.8% since 2014-15.
Managing your health
- Over half of all patients (53.2%) have one or more long standing health condition (LSHC), while 44.1% of patients say they do not have a LSHC and 2.7% say they ‘don’t know or can’t say’.
- The most commonly reported LSHCs are ‘high blood pressure’ (17.8%) or ‘arthritis or a long-term joint problem’ (12.4%).
- Of patients who say they have one or more LSHC, 63.1% say they had enough support from local services or organisations to help them manage their condition. While more than one in ten (12.4%) say they have not received enough support, and one in five (21.7%) say they haven’t needed such support.
- Of all patients, more than nine out of ten (92.5%) say they are confident in managing their own health.
The survey asks patients about written care plans. It defines a care plan as a written document that acts as “an agreement between you and your health professional(s) to help you manage your day-to-day health”.
- In 2015-16, 3.2% of patients say they have a written care plan. A similar proportion say they do not know if they a plan (3.7%). The vast majority of patients (93.1%) say they do not have a written care plan.
- Seven in ten patients (70.9%) who have a written care plan say they helped put their plan together.
- Of patients who have a written care plan, 67.1% say they use their plan to manage their day-to-day health.
- Of patients who have a written care plan, 58.8% say they regularly review their plan with their GP, nurse or another health professional.
NHS Dentistry results
- Results for questions in the GP Patient Survey relating to NHS dental services forms part of NHS England’s dental statistics.